Lauren Carr has once again surprised and delighted readers with Candidate For Murder, the newest addition to the Mac Faraday series. Well written, hugely entertaining, it is a book you won’t want to stop reading–even when you have reached the end.
Because it isn’t just about politics. It is about murder. Murders, actually. Way more than one, and not all are recent.
It starts off with action on two fronts. First, Gnarly in Iraq, when he was serving as a canine soldier. Then to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, to a debate that has the mayoral candidates in a fist fight. Both serve to grab the reader’s immediate attention. The complex, twisting plot keeps it. The reason why Gnarly is running for mayor becomes clear. No doubt he IS the best candidate in the race, even with the questions in his past.
The usual cast in Deep Creek Lake is present: Mac and Archie, David and Bogie. Dallas will be there too. To up the tension, Murphy Thornton, Second Lieutenant in the Navy and Mac’s daughter, Jessica Faraday Thornton, enter the picture, adding another layer of conspiracy to the plot. Finally, Dallas, David’s new friend, happens to be looking into an old case, a death ruled suicide that may really have been murder.
Through it all, the author deftly keeps each scene clear. With the array of characters, that is a definite plus.
The guilty party is not so easy to see. Twists and turns will keep you guessing. Numerous unlikable suspects with even more motives make all too plausible persons of interest.
All because Gnarly is running for office? Or did he just set it all in motion? Gnarly with his antics, his heroics–and his secrets–has captivated readers from the start. It’s about time he gets a chance to shine center stage. A sweet bonus to followers of the series; the reasons for Gnarly’s dishonorable discharge are finally exposed. After all, in politics it is nearly impossible to keep a secret hidden.
Part of the charm in this entry is due to the “paw-ed” characters. Seeing Gnarly in action, learning the extent of his skills, while the next instant he may be running off with a steak dinner is intriguing even while you are laughing! Through it all, his loyalty to his friends shines through.
It is an amusing look at politics and media today. Appropriate to see how the Deep Creek mayoral election relates to current events. Dissatisfaction with politicians on many levels often leave us looking for extreme change. It may leave you thoughtful. It may leave you writing Gnarly’s name in as your preferred candidate in the next election.
One can only hope that should Gnarly be elected he will maintain his loyalties and not fall victim to the lure of power.
Author Lauren Carr has created such an entertaining series, you will find it irresistible. The more so as you continue from book to book, establishing your own relationship with the many characters.
That said, Candidate for Murder is easily a stand alone novel with a solid ending. If you haven’t yet read any of the Mac Faraday series, don’t let that stop you. You will enjoy it without having shared their history. Though after reading this one, it’s my guess that you will want to go back to earlier books for more.
Besides that, Ms. Carr kindly provides a list of characters at the beginning of each novel, with descriptions of each. It is a handy reference!
Don’t miss it! With killers on so many fronts you will be surprised at the path the story takes.
Be sure to check out her other series as well. They all cross over, with characters appearing in various books. You can see a complete list along with other reviews on Lauren Carr’s Author Page at Mystery Suspense Reviews.
Book Description for Candidate for Murder :
It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clothes lines.
When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer!
What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front runner, of course.
Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army, but to throw in a murder for good measure. With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer!
Buy the book: Amazon
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder will be released June 2016.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
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